Daily brief (12/31): Top picks from the Springfield media

Today will be clear and unseasonably warm, with a high of 66. It will be breezy, though, with gusts of up to 32 mph.

Tonight’s low will dip to 34, and New Year’s Day will be a bit cooler, with a high of 43.

Next week will remain sunny, but highs will remain in the 30s and 40s.

New Year’s Eve

Tonight will feature a host of events, including First Night Springfield 2012, a family-friendly event in downtown Springfield with more than 20 performances.

Law-enforcement officials will also be out in full force, looking for drunken drivers. Police are also warning against firing a gun in celebration on the holiday, which can result in felony charges.

Today’s picks

  • News-Leader: Tobacco-tax petitions OK’d for ballot. The Missouri Secretary of State has approved ballot language for seven initiative petitions that would allow cities and counties to levy tobacco taxes.
  • OzarksFirst: Healing continues one year after Fort Leonard Wood tornado. On last New Year’s Eve, a tornado tore through Fort Leonard Wood, destroying 40 homes and damaging dozens of others. The cleanup still continues a year later.
  • KY3: Laclede House to offer transitional housing. Laclede House, a Lebanon organization to help people get their lives back on track, plans on offering transitional housing for men.
  • KSPR: Missouri 13 construction will bypass businesses. The Missouri Department of Transportation is widening Missouri Highway 13 between Branson West and Kimberling City, but the improvements will bypass businesses in the Stone Ridge community.
  • News-Leader: Sheriff says homicide case was handled appropriately. Dade County Sheriff Steve Stapp says he handled the homicide case of Chad Clayton as best as he could. Six months after Clayton’s death, though, no charges have been filed, and the Missouri Highway Patrol has suspended its case, pending further leads. Friends of Clayton have set up a Facebook page about the case.
  • KY3: Iconic West Plains drive-in may close. Suds N, a drive-in diner in West Plains, has seen a dramatic drop-off in business over the past three years, and the owners say they may have to close. But local students are selling “Save Suds N” buttons to help save the iconic business.
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